Department of Statistics Unitmark
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Strength of Arcs and Edges in Interaction Networks: Elements of a Model-Based Approach

Publication Date

November, 2012

Publication Type

Tech Report


Mauricio Sadinle


When analyzing interaction networks, it is common to interpret the amount of interaction between two nodes as the strength of their relationship. We argue that this interpretation may not be appropriate, since the interaction between a pair of nodes could potentially be explained only by characteristics of the nodes that compose the pair and, however, not by pair-specific features. In interaction networks, where edges or arcs are count-valued, the above scenario corresponds to a model of independence for the expected interaction in the network, and consequently we propose the notions of arc strength, and edge strength to be understood as departures from this model of independence. We discuss how our notion of arc/edge strength can be used as a guidance to study network structure, and in particular we develop a latent arc strength stochastic blockmodel for directed interaction networks. We illustrate our approach studying the interaction between the Kolkata users of the myGamma mobile network.